Evolution of Cinema- Andre Bazin

In the essay the Evolution of Cinema, Andre Bazin  looks at the evolution of film through examining technological advances and their effect on cinema. A large part of the essay focuses on the transition from silent film to sound film and how this effects tendencies of film such as montage. ” The sound film nevertheless did preserve the essentials of montage, namely discontinuous description and the dramatic analysis of action” ( Bazin 39). Although he admits that sound film has the essentials of montage he elaborates on this in the following sentence by saying, ” what it turned its back on was   metaphor and symbol in exchange for the illusion of objective presentation” ( Bazin 39). Bazin seems very interested in the idea of the increasing capabilities of cinema to represent reality. I think he very specifically chose the word “illusion” to describe how cinema objectively represents reality. Using the word illusions makes me believe that Bazin believes that no film can just represent reality, it is allows illusion through perspective.Bazin discusses the idea in the end of his essay that by the 1940’s that ” Today we can say that at last the director writes in film” ( Bazin 39). This idea of Bazin openly comparing and using language of another art medium, writing, to describe cinema is interesting to me. It seems as though Bazin thinks highly of writing, but typically looks down upon theater and painting in comparison to film. Bazin does not seem opposed to the idea of realism. “The image… has at its disposal more means of manipulating reality and of modifying it from within. The film-maker is no longer the competitor of the painter and the playwright, he is, at last,  the equal of the novelist “( Bazin 40). All of the literary comparisons  seems to equate films metaphoric ability through montage very closely to how metaphor acts in literature. My question lies in what Bazin means by “the director writes in film?”  Is the basis of his comparison to the writing process in how editing takes place in both film and the writing process? Or does it lie in the comparison of the metaphoric capabilities given to film through the ability to work in realism in the sense of manipulating reality?

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